Thursday, September 19, 2013

Squeezing in a last bit of summer at the beach

Recently, my mom and I took our yearly trip to the Kohler-Andrae State park just outside Sheboygan, Wisconsin. Some of you might remember the photos from last year's trip. Last time I focused on the fungi in the forest with the post, Mysterious Forest Mushrooms. I saw some neat mushrooms this year too, but I'm going to share a little of the scenery first.

We always start our day at the park with a picnic on the beach. We had such a nice day for that this year. The sky was a beautiful blue as you can see. I didn't intensify that color at all!

There were lots of seagulls on the beach as usual. You can always expect that they will appear the minute you bring out the picnic. You can't help thinking of "The Birds" as they fly overhead in groups. The gulls weren't overly interested in our health food, but I once saw seagull pick a chip out of a woman's chip bag on this beach!

There was one determined seagull who was interested in us. Here he is, strutting along.

This was my favorite seagull picture of the day. I like that little webbed foot of his.

There are many different environments in this one area. Just steps from the beach is a forest. Like last year, we saw lots of cool mushrooms. I seriously thought this one was an ear at first!

Even the color of the mushroom is skin-like! Not that it made sense for an ear to be growing out of a fallen tree.

Another piece of nature that fooled me at first was this twisted twig that looked like a crawling snake:

Some of the fungi was beautifully colored:

Here's a close-up view of some bright green pine needles:

This fallen tree looks like it should have a story. It looks like a haunted, twisted bark or a home for little gnomes.

Out of the forest, the landscape changed yet again. We were then on the dunes, a sandy area with spiky grasses. Wooden planks curved around steep hills. It's quite a hike! Grasshoppers jumped this way and that through our walk.

I got a chance to use the fisheye lens on my new camera. The dunes were curvy and the sky was swirly, but not to this extent.

We had a fun day at the dunes with wonderful weather. For once, the sand was even the perfect temperature!


  1. That beach is beautiful! I don't think I've ever been there. Oh and I love the "ear" mushroom picture. :)

    1. Marisa ~ It really is! I think you'd enjoy it there. The whole area is pretty and pristine. There's also a camping spot where people set up their tents inside the forest.

      I was happy with that "ear" shot too. :) I really gave that a double-take!

  2. That fallen tree is beautiful! I love creepy, dead trees. My mom always laughs at how I oo and awe over them =)
    Glad that ya'll had a great picnic!

    1. Heidi ~ The tree has a nice haunted shape, doesn't it? It's by far the most memorable fallen tree in that forest! It's funny how the park caretakers have left it there from year to year, but I think it adds a little something. That one fallen tree could be the basis for an entire short story! So, it's more or less expected that you'll love the creepy trees hey? :) I'm really drawn to them too.

  3. Beautiful photos! I feel happiest near water. Its a bit sad to see Summer over and done for another year. Especially if yours was as short as ours was, however there are compensations when your one of the Autumnfolk.


    1. Ali ~ Thank you! I think it's part of human nature to be drawn to water. I feel instantly relaxed sitting on a beach. The sounds of waves crashing and the air off the water is so tranquil!

      It is sad to see summer over, but that only means Halloween is getting closer! Your Autumnfolk thought is right on. :)